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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Company Is Scolded for Mistakes at Fukushima

Companies need to be honest with both their and employees and the public about safety issues. The age of conspiracy one would think is long passed. This post is shared from the NY Times and highlights the failings of corporate transparency.

In an unusually public scolding, Japan’s nuclear watchdog agency criticized the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant on Friday for making mistakes that allowed radioactive water to leak into the Pacific Ocean, and ordered it to fix the problems quickly.

The agency, the Nuclear Regulation Authority, summoned the president of the operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, to explain the accidents and spills that have plagued the cleanup of the Fukushima Daiichi plant since it suffered a triple meltdown two years ago. In the most recent mishap, workers spilled 114 gallons of contaminated water this week while trying to fill an already overflowing tank, said the company, known as Tepco. It said some of the water might have run into the ocean.

In a public hearing, an official at the regulatory agency, Katsuhiko Ikeda, dressed down Tepco’s president, saying the problems raised serious questions about the company’s ability to operate its other nuclear plants, like the huge Kashiwazaki-Kariwa facility, which Tepco wants to restart.
“That these leaks occurred due to human error is very regrettable,” Mr. Ikeda told the president, Naomi Hirose. “The failure to make rudimentary checks reflects a clear deterioration in the ability to manage the site.”

Mr. Ikeda said Tepco should consider emergency measures like bringing in workers from its other nuclear plants to help improve the cleanup.
Such blunt and direct...
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